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Two Departmental Heads in Trouble over Absenteeism

In an 8th July letter, Oketayot accuses Katasi of breaching the public service code of ethics and establishment N0.4 of 2009.
Florence Katasi, the Luweero District Community Development Officer and Principal personnel Joseph Ssebunya are in trouble for alleged chronic absenteeism and insubordination.Christopher Oketayot, the Luweero Deputy Chief Administrative Officer has given Katasi 14 days to show cause why she shouldn’t be demoted or her salary be stopped. On other the hand Ssebunya has been forwarded to District Service Commission for either early retirement or dismissal from office with disgrace. In an 8th July letter, Oketayot accuses Katasi of breaching the public service code of ethics and establishment N0.4 of 2009. He accuses the officials of habitually arriving late for work and absconding from duty without authorization. 

Oketayot told URN that the duo had decided to delegate their duties to unqualified junior staffs and only appear in office for few hours to append their signatures on reports. He says the condcuct of both officials tantamounts to receiving tax payer’s monies in form of salary for no work done. He says it also sets a bad example to junior staffs, who the officials are meant to supervise. Oketayot says Ssebunya has been warned for years to desist from absenteeism in vain. He says both officials appear to undermine the Office of the CAO by continuing to work one day  a week or in the entire month, which is unacceptable. Oketayot says the absenteeism of the two senior staff has blighted service delivery to residents.

Our reporter couldn't reach the affected officials as they were not in office when he went there and their known mobile numbers were switched off. The officials are also yet to submit their defense before the CAO and District Service Commission. Local leaders and residents have welcomed the decision taken by the district leadership to discipline the officials saying it will reduce on absenteeism which has become order of the day in the district. Abdul Nadduli, the Luweero LC V chairperson says it seems the two officials were no longer interested in their jobs. He advises them to resign if they don’t have time to serve the district.

Samuel Ssewanya, a resident of Kavule zone in Luweero town council argues that both officials have overstayed in office and probably that is why they no longer respect authorities. Ssewanyana says they have been complaining about Personnel’s absenteeism for a very long time demanding for his sacking in vain. He wants the public service ministry to employ departmental heads on contracts basis and  transfer them just like CAO’s so as to reduce on the repercussions of overstaying in office and insubordination.

 

Livingstone Kategeya, the Kamira sub county LC 3 chairperson has also appealed to the CAO to crack a whip on officials in health units and schools because their situation is worse. Kategeya cites Mabuye, Nambeere, Watuba, Galikwoleka primary Schools and Kamira Health Center 111 where administrators work for five days a month, despite several warnings from local leaders. Absenteeism amongst civil servants is one of the greatest challenges in Luweero district. An impromptu visit conducted by State house Medicines and Health Service Delivery Monitoring Unit last year found out that only 4 out of 27 officers in charge of the health Centers were present at their station. The implicated officials have never been penalized.

 

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